Phishing is a cyber crime where someone misrepresents themselves to look like a legitimate company or organization, such as your bank, the IRS, or even Elon University. They try to trick you into providing your personal information, such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, credit card information, and bank account information.
The communication to a user typically comes in the form of an email or instant message that directs the user to a website that has a similar look and feel to the legitimate site. Some of these phishing scams are very convincing. They say things like, "your account will be disabled unless you verify your account information." They may even look like they come from your bank or Elon Campus Technologies.
There are several ways to detect a phishing scam. Look for some of these reasons to be suspect.
Every time an Elon faculty or staff member responds to a phishing scam, our systems are flooded with spam, potentially causing a complete shut down of our systems. When clients respond to a phishing scam, spammers use Elon email accounts to send SPAM. This causes our email server to fill up quickly and our staff must expend already limited resources to track, and recover from the SPAM storm. Also, outside email service providers such as RoadRunner, Yahoo, and Google may place Elon on a blacklist for 4 days as a way to defend their own clients from the SPAM generated by compromised Elon accounts. When we are blacklisted, no email, legitimate or otherwise, from elon.edu will get through to any email account on those service providers.